Charlie Wilson's War

Last night I went to see this movie where Tom Hanks plays the US Congressmen Charlie Wilson who was crucial in getting support for the largest covert operation in US History. The operation was a reaction at the Soviet invasion of Afganistan in 1979. Bearing in mind that this was during the Cold War the US decided it wanted to support the Mujahedin resitance movement in Afghanistan to make it a Soviet version of Vietnam. By supplying advanced anti-aircraft and anti-armour weapons the resistance movement was able to inflict sizeable losses to the dreaded Soviet Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters.

It was a really good movie which also was really amuzing to watch, mainly thanks to the wonderful dialogues created by Aaron Sorking (creator of the West Wing show). Since this movie is based on real events it was really interesting to somewhat relive the 80-ies and the Cold War setting. Even though I was really young then I was for some reason very interested in what happened in the Soviet Union and I remember some of this. It is also very interesting to reflect on how difficult it is to fully understand the consequences of our actions since this support of the resistance movement have repurcussions even today. The Soviet Union left Afghanistan in 1988 which probably was a contributing factor of the demise of the union and after they left Afghanistan started a journey towards an extremist implementation of islam.

However, it is easy to shift the blame on the CIA. Bear in mind that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and what was supported was a liberation movement. If the Soviet Union have stayed in Afghanistan until the collapse of the Soviet Union a revival of extremist islam could have been risen three years later instead just as religion had a general revival in all parts of the former Soviet Union at that time. The only thing to learn from this is to invest time to not just win the war but also the peace and that it is really difficult to forsee all consquences of our actions.

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